The juvenile falcons are starting to take their first flights! The two older chicks were the first to take to the roof behind the nest box. Last week they spent time on the roof behind the next box stretching their wings. The two juveniles that hatched a few days later than their siblings left the nest box soon after and began practice hops and stretching their wings on the roof behind the next box. Names were selected for the chicks through a contest on the Boonshoft Museum Facebook page and the winning names are Spruce, Cypress, Willow and Sequoia. On Tuesday one of the juveniles made it to the ledge near the 17th floor of the Liberty Tower.
Dayton and Daniel still remain close by and provide food for the juvenile birds and protect them. Once all the young falcons have taken their first flights they will be in flight training. Dayton and Daniel will assist them as their flight instinct is developed. Practice flights with parents nearby to keep the area clear of predators allow the youngsters to develop their skills. The young birds will practice hunting with their parents passing pre-caught prey to them to help them to refine their skills. Visits to the nest box will be infrequent and the birds will only rarely be seen in the nest box. This is a good time to visit the nest site downtown as the birds can be seen in their practice flights over the Liberty Savings Tower in downtown Dayton. The young peregrines are about six weeks old and are beginning to practice the skills they need to survive independently in the future. They have passed their first hurdles but are still inexperienced. The fledglings are as large as their parents and are hard to differentiate from Daniel and Dayton by their appearance while in flight downtown. Dayton, Daniel and their four young falcons are all doing well and we continue to have no reports of any problems. If the young falcons have gotten into any trouble they have been able to solve it themselves and are one step closer to being independent of their parents.